Dead Island: Epidemic Ready To Infect Beta Players

If you’ve missed word of Dead Island: Epidemic before today, it is – deep breath – a free-to-play multiplayer action hack and slash arena game. It’s pursuing a cartoony look and feel and, from a trailer voiceover, it’s making no bones about trying to be funny (although I hope the game itself aims a little higher than a silly voice).

There’s a little more info on this kinda-sorta-maybe-MOBA in a post we ran all the way back in June, although details will have changed since then. Epidemic has just reached open beta and there’s a new trailer to celebrate.

The Dead Island series has experienced more than its fair share of tonal shift since it began. We all remember that trailer: probably one of the most popular, viral and – dare I say it – emotionally affecting pieces of pre-rendered footage in recent years. Then, of course, there was the game itself.  Which, well, didn’t quite nail or even entirely pursue the same tone. With Dead Island 2, the evidence is pointing towards Yager going full bore comedy. Epidemic, despite a different developer helming it, looks to be in much the same vein.

Of course, for all that the original Dead Island featured some very moody music and did occasionally manage to produce a sense of atmosphere, it was also a game about bludgeoning or dismembering hundreds of zombies. And probably laughing a lot along the way. It looks like Epidemic certainly has that nailed, with a range of classes and plenty of zombie types to slaughter. Besides all else, over-the-top multiplayer hack and slashers aren’t the best place for introspective rumination on the barbarity and folly of man, eh?

Since a holiday on Dead Island doesn’t come with any immediate costs, why not give it a shot on Steam? It can’t be worse than flying Ryanair.


  1. Rymdkejsaren says:

    It is a fun game albeit in need of a fair amount of further polish… which is ok because it’s still a beta. Stunlock Studios have shown they are willing to do complete overhauls based on community feedback, so that is a good thing. I just wish they would finish the game already so they can get working on a spiritual successor of Bloodline Champions.

    • salejemaster says:

      Amen to spiritual successor to Bloodline Champions that game was great!

      • Kitsunin says:

        Wish that game had literally anyone playing in outside of Europe when I tried to jump into it, Bloodline Champions looked like it’d be pretty good without 300 ping.

  2. eyesiah says:

    “With Dead Island 2, the evidence is pointing towards Techland going full bore comedy.”

    Sorry, who’s going full bore comedy on Dead Island 2, exactly?

  3. airmikee says:

    This arrived in my Steam inventory one day, even though I didn’t ask for or request it. It’s an interesting marketing technique, but one I hope others don’t follow. If it’s a good game, I should have a say in whether or not it appears anywhere in my life. I still haven’t gotten around to playing Dead Island, one of these days I’ll find the time to go through my Steam inventory and actually play all the games I’ve picked up for ridiculously low prices.

    • Jalan says:

      They handed out betas to the inventory of those who had purchased Dead Island and Riptide.

  4. milton says:

    I tried it a while back but the lag was unbearable. Are there aussie servers yet or is it still american?

  5. Myrdinn says:

    So how is it in comparison to DotA2 or LoL?

    • Wallacegrover says:

      Not similar at all beyond having four skills per character, really. It’s much more like an ARPG than anything.

    • Gnoupi says:

      It actually doesn’t have much in common. It’s closer to a view-from-top L4D with hero abilities. You even have special zombies which are similarly incapacitating you in a way that only your teammates can rescue you, while

      The competitive mode actually features a capture the points / gather the resources with 3 teams, in such environment, so it’s populated with zombies (regular and specials) slowing you down or worse while you try to score better than the other teams.

      Last time I tried, the leveling and unlocking felt like far too long grinding for my taste. The core game is fun, though.

  6. Vinraith says:

    I have no less than 5 invites to the beta for this crapfest rotting in my inventory. A little note to developers: spamming my inventory with un-deletable invites for your game is one way to ensure I never, ever play your game.

    • Jalan says:

      Same situation myself. Now that it’s entered public/open beta they’ll likely begin to invalidate the copies in the inventories of users (similar to what was done with Air Mech/etc.) which should then make them able to be deleted.

  7. mpk says:

    I gave up on it after less than an hour of the closed beta (about six months ago) – then it was a mish mash of MOBA/F2P ideas that wanted to suggest Left 4 Dead Island but really just seemed to be a micro-transaction fueled grind fest. Obviously things might have changed but at that point it didn’t have a single original idea.

    Also, it’s Yet Another Zombie game. I’m really, really bored of zombies.

    • Wallacegrover says:

      Things didn’t change. Characters are rather expensive and the game gets stale very fast…

      • Kitsunin says:

        It’s worth noting that, while I’m really not sure about the “free” to play cost of things, some of those DLC packs are actually what I would consider a not-unreasonable deal. Not great, but I’ve played enough free to plays which just made me gawk at their idiocy to appreciate something which is at least reasonable.

    • trappski says:

      This game partially inherits it’s gameplay mechanics from Stunlocks great arena-pvp-game Bloodlines Champions. Which is a good thing. Since that game was hard to master but very rewarding once you did. Though there are a lot more random elements here with dodge, critical chance and a wide variety of “might do” things. But mostly it works and it’s pretty fun as long as you get to play with people who actually understands that you will never win a game by trying to get revenge on that other team that won the first fight you had. It will always lead to the third team winning…

      The game has evolved pretty nicely over the last year. And it’s a much better game now than i was from the beginning. Still needs some polish i’d say. But definately worth a look.

  8. puffinmcpuffs says:

    Surprisingly I really enjoyed it during Alpha for the good 12 hours I played it. The only thing I would criticize is the lack of variety in the coop missions (maps and bosses) and the amount of “loot” you get if you fail. If you get a rookie team and wipe at the boss you basically get no rewards at all.
    The multiplayer can also be very frustrating at times. It can be incredibly fun and is very skill based, but can sometimes be unbalanced if you get pooled with a team of rookies who don’t know what they are doing. There didn’t seem to be any kind of skill based matchmaker.
    Surprisingly gear or the more “advanced” characters aren’t really important. I played most of the time with the tier1 healer character and was able to defeat higher tier characters just fine and even give DPS characters (which should counter me) plenty of troubles.

    My biggest problem though are the prices. The ingame store is ridiculous expensive.

  9. montorsi says:

    Hello, has anyone told them their dumpy little IP, while initially showing signs of potential, has never realized it and isn’t worthy of a bajillion spinoffs?